For weeks now, locals and visitors alike have seen the warning flags posted along many stretches of South Mississippi beaches warning people to avoid contact with the water in those areas, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has also warned people not to eat fish and seafood caught in these affected. A far-reaching toxic blue-green algae bloom is being blamed for these closures and warnings. all leading to hardships for South Mississippi fishermen and other businesses, but help could soon be available.
Due to the harmful algal bloom on the Mississippi gulf coast, and the additional contact warnings issued by the Mississippi DEQ, Governor Phil Bryant may request an economic injury declaration from the Small Business Administration. According to the SBA, an Economic Injury Declaration means a business is “unable to meet its obligations to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. EID loans provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.”
For the governor to be able to request an EID, at least five businesses in each of the primary counties must show they have suffered a substantial economic injury. Additionally, the degree of economic injury must be so severe that financial assistance at reasonable rates and terms is not otherwise available, creating the necessity for federal involvement in the form of subsidized loans.” creating the necessity for federal involvement in the form of subsidized loans.
If you are a business owner and want to be included in this possible declaration, the proper contact for your county is listed below:
Hancock County: Maureen Anderson at (228) 467-0172.
Harrison County: Michelle Watts at (228) 865-4002.
Jackson County: Sonya Carter at (228) 938-2850.